by Patrick Appel
Bainbridge makes a shrewd point:
If Obama nominates as a replacement for Souter someone with demonstrated specialized expertise in a field in which the other members of the court lack expertise, that nominee likely will end up with disproportionately large influence on court decisions within his/her field. If Obama picks a specialist, accordingly, the Senate would be well advised to go beyond the narrow question of whether the nominee is likely to vote to overturn Roe and also ask: What is the nominee likely to do in his/her field of expertise? Indeed, in the long run, that latter question may matter a lot more.
In turn, all of this suggests that Obama--to the extent he's interested in making a good government choice--ought to be asking himself, "what area of expertise does the current court lack that I think it needs"?